To celebrate the 75th Birthday of the A line, the first line owned by the City, the MTA strung together a train of old pre-WWII train cars, and took them for a spin.
You could have been riding a train like this one pictured on the left (click for full image / NY Times). Yes, that’s right. Those are seat cushions and ceiling fans. I do believe that trains in 1932 were waaaaay more comfortable looking than our current models. However, ours now have air conditioning. The old cars did not, hence the ceiling fans. Still, a padded seat looks nice.
Also, these cars are museum quality now, so they are meticulously maintained. In the real world, they might not have been quite as nice.
Anyway, the vintage A train took a spin down the entire length of the original line, down and back. What was funny is that it made all the stops just like a regular train! Many passengers didn’t know what the hell was going on.
The old cars are dark green, and very tank like. Obviously, the interiors are way different too, complete with old advertisements…including cigarettes! So many passengers were rightfully suspicious. It reportedly did not take them long to find out why they were riding a living time machine. Word spread fast though the train at each stop.
MTA Boss Man, Elliot Sander, and crew were also on board. Rumor has it they were handing out free MetroCards!!
The joy of camera phones means that many people took pictures. I found this photo stream on Flickr containing many pics of the old train in action. Very cool.
The NY Times article published today also has a great account of the voyage. Only wish I could have been there too!